Qassam Rocket Damages Two Houses in Sderot; No One Wounded

One woman treated for shock; Fatah offshoot, Islamic Jihad both claim responsibility for attack.

A woman in Sderot inspecting damage to her window from a Qassam rocket, May 30, 2007.Ancho Gosh

A Qassam rocket hit the western Negev town of Sderot on Sunday morning, causing damage to two houses.

No one was wounded in the attacks, although four people suffered from shock and were evacuated to Barzilai Medical Center in Ashkelon.

A Fatah offshoot and Islamic Jihad both claimed responsibility for the attack, Israel Radio reported.

Security forces over the weekend arrested four Palestinians wanted for their role in paramilitary activities. In a separate incident Friday, a 20-year-old Palestinian was shot dead by the Israel Defense Forces.

In a combined operation of the IDF and the Shin Bet security service Saturday in the village of Arura, north of Ramallah, 41-year-old Saleh al-Arouri was arrested. He is considered to be one of the founding members in the West Bank of Iz al-Din al-Qassam, Hamas' military wing, and one of its leaders.

From 1992 to 1997, al-Arouri was jailed in Israel. He was captured and incarcerated again in 1998, and was released in March this year.

During his years behind bars, al-Arouri served in the unofficial Hamas leadership in the prisons, according to security sources.

In another operation carried out by Border Police special forces Friday morning in the Ain Beit-Ilma refugee camp in Nablus, the local head of the Tanzim, Yusuf Abu Leyla, was captured. Two other militants, Muib Hutri of the Tanzim and Yusuf Mabruk of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, were also arrested.

Abu Leyla was involved in planning attacks and is considered an expert saboteur, with training in explosives. Military sources said Saturday that Abu Leyla operated under directions from Hezbollah and Gaza-based militants.

On Friday, a force of IDF reservists shot and killed a Palestinian who approached them north of Kiryat Arba. The soldiers said the Palestinian refused to stop, and they shot him when he fled.